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BALI’s 2018 Affiliate Exceptional Service Principal Award Goes To London Stone

BALI’s 2018 Affiliate Exceptional Service Principal Award Goes To London Stone – we are ecstatic to have won this prestigious award from the British Association of Landscape Industries 

Is there a big smile on our faces? We can’t help it! Last Friday saw the annual prestigious BALI Awards and here at London Stone it’s hard to express just how chuffed we are to have been given the Principal Award in our category of Affiliate Exceptional Service.

Our team collecting the Principal Award on stage at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane (photo courtesy of the APL)

Managing Director Steven Walley says, “We were up against some stiff competition for the grand prize, so to win the award and have it presented to us in front of the whole industry was without doubt the stand-out highlight of my whole career in landscaping and stone.”

The category is judged against some searching criteria, including customer retention, exceeding customer expectations, exceptional communication with clients, staff rewards, charitable activity and how our products serve our customers and the industry. There are fourteen criteria in all!

Here’s what the judges said about us: “This company highlights the importance of meeting customer needs in terms of the products offered and the overall service experience. Its staff are well trained and knowledgeable, and it places great importance on the ethical sourcing of its stone products.”

This year’s ceremony was attended by nearly one-thousand peers from across the landscaping industry, and was hosted by the BBC’s Dan Walker

How do we do it? Well, we can’t give away all our secrets, but at heart, it’s all about investing in people, whether that’s our clients, our staff or our suppliers. We’re committed to delivering exceptional customer service, whether you’re buying off the shelf, or need a complicated bespoke solution. It’s not rocket science, but it takes constant vigilance when looking at detail, and imagination when providing solutions to our clients’ problems – as well as those that we are responsible for. We know that we don’t always get it right.

Proving an “above and beyond” customer experience is the norm, we communicate customer feedback on Trust Pilot to our staff on a weekly basis, and we recognise the enormous value of promoting staff within the company. We hire people we believe in, and we want to keep them – 80% of our Showroom Managers have, for example, been promoted from Sales Advisor positions, which means that when you walk into our showrooms you’ll speak to someone who knows what they’re talking about.

And we hold Landscaper Development Days so that you can do the very best for your customers when using our products and others. The judges concluded, “London Stone believes in educating its customer base, including those new to the landscape industry, and is constantly identifying new ways of adding value to its product and service offering.”

‘The’ Award in all it’s glory – BALI’s 2018 Affiliate Exceptional Service Principal Award

Creative Marketing Manager Anthony Macson was tasked with collating the evidence to present to BALI, and he put the final submission together along with Marketing Manager Diana Catrinoi-Cornea, Graphic Designer Kevin Clarke, and our Customer Experience Director, Chris Durnford proofed the document with his hawk-like eye for detail. “The most challenging part of the award submission was knowing what to leave out!” says Anthony. “We had a 2000-word limit to stick to, and so we had to be selective about the evidence we provided.  It’s testament to the London Stone team that I struggled to keep the content concise. Their hard work meant that we met every criterion set out by BALI with ease.”

Our social media feeds came into their own, too. Turns out that it’s not only Horticultural Consultant Jamie Butterworth and Garden Design Director Craig Potter who have tweeted prolifically about our news and events. “We also found that our wonderful customer base has been so vocal – and public – with their praise towards our services and products that it helped us a great deal,” adds Anthony.

Our page in the official 2018 BALI Award Winners publication, complete with judges comments

So, we’d like to thank all our clients who have appreciated our efforts so much. You really did contribute to our success and we’re honoured by your enthusiasm.

This was our first entry to the awards, so it’s really not a bad result! Last word to Anthony: “We’re all thrilled and delighted to be the Principal Award Winners. To be recognised by such a large, prestigious and fastidious organisation like BALI is an amazing achievement for London Stone.”

Don’t forget, if you have any problems that need solving on the landscaping front, please give us a call to discuss. We’re always determined to find a solution.